Federation of Journalists (IFJ) today condemned the raid and robbery at the
main office of its Somalia affiliate, the National Union of Somali Journalists
(NUSOJ) as well as continued threats against members and the leadership of the
NUSOJ says four men
armed with AK-47 guns and two male accomplices raided the union main office at
Taleex street in Mogadishu where they told the security guard that they are
NUSOJ staff to gain entry. After opening the door, they disarmed the security
guard and ordered him to move aside. Once inside, they took documents of the
union which were on the shelves and 4 computers before escaping in a Toyota
pickup. The security guard was ordered not to talk any one about of the attack at
the risk of losing his life.
actions are the latest in a series of persistent violations against the
journalists union, its members and leaders that have continued in the past two
months to deny journalists their right to freedom of association and
expression," said Beth Costa, IFJ General Secretary.
On Monday, two gunmen
came back to the offices of the union and threatened three NUSOJ officials who had
gone to investigate the robbery. The gunmen warned that anyone who comes to the
offices of the union would be killed. "Anyone who does not like his life, let
him come here and we will step on his dead body," said one gunman.
The three union
officials were also told they risked their life if they continue to represent
the union and its leadership in Somalia.
The IFJ is concerned about consistent
politicised actions against NUSOJ members and its leadership to thwart them
from carrying out their legitimate activities which is a clear violation of their
right to freedom of association and freedom of expression.
are very concerned about the safety of NUSOJ leaders and members and we shall
do everything in our power to keep them safe and defend their legitimacy,"
The IFJ supported the
General Assembly of NUSOJ which took place on 14-15 March in Mogadishu and
fully recognised the outcome of this Assembly and endorsed the legitimacy of
Abdirisak Omar Ismail, Chairperson of NUSOJ supreme council, and Omar Faruk
Osman as NUSOJ Secretary General.
Federal Government has the primary responsibility to guarantee the security of
journalists, including NUSOJ leaders and its members in the areas under its control.
The need to investigate the raid on the union's office and bring the robbers to
justice," declared Costa.
NUSOJ has been
working in a temporary office in south Mogadishu for the last two years due to
the lack of security at the main office which is located in a combat zone between
of Al-Shabaab and transitional government forces.
For more information,
please contact IFJ on + 32 2 235 22 07
The IFJ represents more than
600.000 journalists in 131 countries